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Ficus Tree Care Instructions

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017
Indoor ficus tree
ficus image by c-chez-marc from Fotolia.com

One of the most common indoor plants, the Ficus genus includes more than 800 different species and 2,000 cultivated varieties, all of which are plants and trees that are grown for their attractive foliage. The most commonly grown ficus trees are the rubber plant (Ficus elastica) and the Ficus benjamina. Because ficus trees are tropical and cannot tolerate temperatures below 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they’re grown indoors in most climates. Ficus trees are known for their tolerance of low-light conditions and low-maintenance requirements.

Position your ficus tree in bright, filtered light, such as beside a southern- or western-exposure window with curtains or blinds. Ficus trees can tolerate low-light conditions quite well.

Maintain air temperatures around your ficus tree of 68 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 65 degrees at night. Keep your ficus tree away from drafty areas and don’t expose it to temperatures colder than 50 degrees.

Water your ficus tree once to three times per week, depending on your indoor environment, to keep the potting soil moist at all times but not soggy. Don’t allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings, and pour water into the pot until it begins to drain from the bottom.

Feed your ficus tree with a water-soluble 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 NPK formula indoor plant fertilizer while the tree is actively growing, according to the instructions on the label. Most indoor ficus trees don’t require fertilizers, but you can feed the ficus if it begins to lose its vigor.


Things You Will Need

  • Water-soluble 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer
  • Planter pots
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Horticultural oil or insecticidal soap (optional)


  • Pot your ficus tree in a 10-inch-diameter planter pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the ficus in a commercial all-purpose potting mix that's very well-draining. You may also create your own potting mix by combining peat moss, bark and sand. Repot the ficus tree when the roots thoroughly crowd the pot, transferring the ficus into a container that's the next size up in late winter or early spring.


  • Watch out for scale insects, mealybugs and aphids infesting your ficus tree. If you detect insects on your ficus, treat the tree with an appropriate horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. You can prevent insects by wiping the ficus' leaves with a damp cloth about once every week or two.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.